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Almost Bitten By A Snake

ETERNAL LIFE (Part 4)

| Always bearing about the dying of the Lord Jesus that the life also of Jesus might be made manifest in our body.  

2 Corinthians 4: 10

Eternal Life, God’s kind of Life (Zoe) is meant to bring solution to an impossible situation therefore; it will be difficult as a Christian to live triumphantly in Christ without a proper understanding of how it operates.

The Apostle Paul understood God’s power and Life. In the account of Acts 28:3-6, at the dismay of onlookers, the Apostle Paul remains unscathed after being beaten by a venomous viper. The venom of viper will kill in less than five minutes without any medical attention. The onlookers in Paul’s case had clearly been expecting him to die immediately from the attack, attributing the attack to a case of nemesis. But when nothing happened to Paul, they changed their mind and started to refer to him as a god.

The question though is why was Paul able to stay unharmed after this attack? Obviously, it was not because he was super human as his onlookers described him to be. Was it because his name had changed from Saul to Paul? No! Was it because he was a Christian? No! Was it because he was baptised by immersion in the name of Christ? No! Paul was able to stay unharmed because of the Life of God (Zoe) which was actively working in his body.

One thing to note here is that Paul was not going about looking for a snake that would bite him so that he would prove that he had the power of God working in Him. A man who bears the death of Christ on his mortal body is dead to self. He has nothing to prove to any man or the world. This was one of the mistakes I made as a young Christian, always going about trying to prove something to people.

On one occasion, I had a close call with a magician on a street near where my home church was located. A crowd had gathered to watch him perform with live snakes. In my misguided zeal, I decided to prove to him that I had the power of God in me. I decided to start screaming, referring to the magician as a fake and from the devil. Incensed, the magician after a few warning remarks, decided to release a snake to attack me.  At this point, I realised my folly and full of fear, quietly left the place.

A lesson that I learnt from this experience is that, as a Christian, it is important to discern when the Spirit of the Lord is leading us and when we are leading ourselves. God did not send me there; I went on my own to prove that I had the power of God. I am not saying that it was impossible for the snake to die at my command, but the issue was, who sent me? Some of us foolishly expose ourselves to danger and expect God to intervene.  Beware of the commandment not to tempt the Lord Our God.

In the example of the Apostle Paul, he was going about his business when this challenge suddenly presented itself and the power of God showed up. He was not trying to prove anything to his onlookers. In the same vein, when the Enemy comes up against us while we are going about our business, the power of God will show up on our behalf, if we have been obeying the Law of the Spirit.

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